(Norman Taurog, US 1940, 103 min., 35mm)
National Endowment for the Arts. This delightful MGM musical featuring songs by the unparalleled Cole Porter finds Fred Astaire and George Murphy as an aspiring dance team. Murphy is mistakenly given the starring role in a Broadway show, but he eventually realizes that it is his partner who truly deserves the role and feigns illness to give Astaire the chance to shine alongside the unforgettable Eleanor Powell. The rare teaming of Astaire and Powell is fully showcased in the legendary “Begin the Beguine” number that is the centerpiece of this magical musical.